October 12, 2011

Bronze by B. B. Shepherd

Bronze is Book One in The Glister Journals, a YA Fiction series.

Allison is a 15 year old teenager who has just been uprooted from everything she has ever known.  Her parents moved from Los Angeles to a quiet little horse town near Sacramento.  Allison believes she isn't the prettiest, nor the brightest and she is way too tall for her age.  She has always gone to a private school and she is nervous about fitting in with the rest of the kids in the area.

Allison's parents are Heli-copter parents, barely giving her room to breathe in and controlling every aspect of her life.  When Allison sees something shimmering in the forest that surrounds her house, her interest is intrigue and what she finds is about to change her life forever.

Allison has met some really good friends, Robin, who quickly becomes her best friend and confidante, the Calderas brothers, Cris, quiet and sullen and Dave, who Allison is quite smitten over, Matthew, who would love to date Allison, Melanie, her cafeteria lunch partner and Brenda, her best friend in LA.  Each of these people open Allie's heart to other possibilities by giving her love, trust and friendship when she expected nothing.

As Allie goes through her metamorphasis, her father is worried that she  is hanging with the wrong crowd and tries to come between them all.  Allie finds the maturity to show her father that she isn't a little girl any longer and she is capable of making the right choices in her life.  When Allison wishes to learn how to ride horses, her father gives in reluctantly and allows his daughter to find herself.

Over the course of the year, we watch how Allison becomes a strong, mature and capable young lady, who sometimes makes incorrect choices, but is human for it all the more.  When the end of the school year comes Allison is devastated to learn she will be spending the summer in LA with her family while her parents go abroad for her father's job.  How will she survive without her friends, her horse and those she has come to love?

I thought this was an extremely well-written book about growth.  The characters were remarkable in their depth and the plot encouraged the reading to continue with the story set before them.  I cannot say why I thought this book was wonderful, except for the honesty of the situations and the character attributes; the mystery that continues to surround the people involved; the absence of pretentiousness and the abject understanding that the emotions shared are real and not forced.

I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding the back stories and frankly, that is part of the magic, the reader is never really given a lot on certain aspects in the plot and you yearn to continue to find out the outcome.  The book is an exploration of human expression and raw emotions.  I enjoyed the expressiveness found within the pages, they made the characters real for me.

The antagonism in the story comes more from the situations than from human interactions, though there are a few instances where the one side of town has a clash with the other.  The teenagers have divided themselves into them and us mentality and when the two combine, the outcomes are always fraught with intensity and drama.

I would give this book a five out of five stars for the mystery that it incurs, for the need to find out what is going to happen to these young people as life throws its curves at them.  I cannot wait to read the next book and I've already told the author this...LOL  Okay, I got hooked and wanted more and was pleased to learn that I only have to wait a few more months before the next segment is ready to read.  If you enjoy a well written YA reader with a bit of romance, some horses and some great characters, then you will definitely enjoy this book by B.B. Shepherd.

Bronze:  The Glister Journals

Allison knows she's a little different, but it hadn't bothered her too much. Not until now. Moving away from everything she's ever known to a new house, new neighborhood, and new school is bad enough, but it's her first year of high school too. She's even more aware of her social and physical limitations than before. Then there are the new people she meets: the tough-looking girl in her home room; the cute, but dangerous-looking boy she encountered before school even started; the quiet, older girl who keeps to herself; the sullen-looking, apparently isolated junior that obviously doesn't trust or like her at all. Can she trust them? While her peaceful new home seems to amplify her own doubts, she also begins to learn that things are not always what they seem. Her world is turned upside-down by these and other new 'friends,' two-legged and otherwise, and life soon becomes more interesting, and much more complicated.

Bronze is the first novel in The Glister Journals, a Young Adult fiction series in four volumes. Set in California, it is first and foremost a story of friendship. Themes include first love, high school, family relationships, and horses. Supplementary pages include a Vocabulary section and Questions for Discussion suitable for book clubs. Ages 15-Adult. Contains mild swearing.

 ** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! **

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